What Friends are For
a story by Dot
Trucy had never seen Papa this surprised before. She pulled on his hand. "What's the matter, Papa? Who's this?"
Papa's voice sounded very far away as he stared at the tall man in the dark pink suit. "A friend."
The man pulled his face into an exaggerated frown the way Papa sometimes did when he pretended to be hurt. "A 'friend', Wright? You changed your whole life because of me, saving mine in the process, and I'm just a 'friend'?"
Papa put his hand on his hat, a sign that he was nervous. "Edgeworth--"
'Edgeworth' stepped over the threshold and came up to Papa, towering over him. "I should punch you," he told him, the fake frown turning into a thin smile.
"Already got a fist to the face, thank you," Papa muttered, not looking the other man in the eye.
Edgeworth jabbed a finger into Papa's shoulder. "Seven years, Wr--Phoenix. You fall off the face of the earth for seven years when you knew perfectly well that I was on the first plane back to Los Angeles the moment I got wind of what happened--"
Papa blinked. "You were?"
"What makes you think I wouldn't be?" Edgeworth pushed his glasses back to the top of his nose, and for a moment Trucy swore they iglinted/i. "Who came cross country to play defense lawyer for you when you took a little swim from a bridge in Kurain, hm?" He shook his head. "All you had to do was pick up the phone and call me--"
Papa's voice dropped down to a whisper. "I couldn't bring you into this. I just couldn't."
Edgeworth scoffed. "Phoenix, I survived Taser von Therapy, I think I could have handled either Gavin just fine."
Papa laughed a little at this, ruffling Trucy's hair and giving her an I'll explain later look when she shot him a quizzical one. Soon, however, he was solemn again. "I'm sorry. I guess I wasn't thinking."
"Damn right you weren't." Edgeworth's gaze went to Trucy and his smile grew warm. "So are you going to introduce us properly this time, or do I have to monologue at you all afternoon?"
Even Trucy felt a little miffed by the time Papa finished explaining everything. "You never told me you were so cool, Papa!"
Papa looked a little embarrassed. "Most of it was just dumb luck."
"Emphasis on 'dumb'," Edgeworth added, smirking.
Papa rolled his eyes. "Duly noted."
Edgeworth accepted the hot chocolate from Trucy with a nod. "So what else have you been up to these days besides being a bum? Tell me that at least you've kept in contact with Maya."
Papa just stared into his mug. "We write."
Trucy clapped her hands. "Ooh, ooh! Apollo and Klavier are in court today, aren't they?" She tugged on Papa's arm. "Come on! Let's go introduce them to Mr. Edgeworth and have them take us out to dinner!"
Papa rose to his feet, smiling. "Can't argue with free food."
Apollo couldn't believe his eyes. Was Klavier...glittering?
"You're him! You're really him!" Klavier practically gushed, and he might as well have been dancing around the tall man who had followed Trucy and Mr. Wright into the courthouse lobby.
Trucy threw an arm around Apollo and pulled him into an awkward noogie. "This is Apollo Justice, Mr. Edgeworth! He's a defense attorney, like Papa was!" She gave his hair a playful rub before letting him go and giving Klavier her patented Trucy Hug of Death (tm). "And this is Klavier. He's a prosecutor, and he's a rock star, too!"
The tall man smiled back and bowed to his waist. "Miles Edgeworth. Perhaps my reputation proceeds me somewhat."
Apollo boggled as realization hit. "THE Miles Edgeworth?" he asked, quite aware that his voice had risen by at least one octave. "The former Demon Prosecutor who used to work out of this very courthouse?"
Mr. Wright and Mr. Edgeworth shared a look as if they were sharing some private joke. "Guilty as charged," Mr. Edgeworth answered, looking more and more amused by the minute.
"Oh, my God, I'm actually meeting you the Gavineers are never going to believe this--" And then Klavier started fanboying in German and Apollo couldn't make heads or tails of what he was saying, but a moment later Mr. Edgeworth answered back in the same language, causing Klavier to squeal (squeal!) in utter delight. A moment later the two had disappeared down the hallway, still chatting.
"Edgeworth, you old dog, you," Mr. Wright murmured, smirking. His gaze swung to Apollo's. "Why, Mr. Justice, if I didn't know better I'd think you were jealous."
"M-me?" Apollo sputtered. "No way! Why would I be jealous? And besides, isn't Mr. Edgeworth your friend?"
Mr. Wright shrugged. "He's also a grown man and can do whatever he wants."
After what felt like an eternity, the two men returned, Mr. Edgeworth with a manila folder under his arm and Klavier admiring the autographed business card. "I remember someone mentioning something about dinner?" Mr. Edgeworth asked, giving Apollo a brief nod as if to apologize for 'borrowing' Klavier.
Phoenix woke to Edgeworth rummaging through his clothes. "What are you doing here and why are you in my closet?"
Edgeworth didn't take the bait. "Seeing if you still have any of your old suits. You should try to look somewhat presentable for your court date."
"Oh." Phoenix sat up, fully awake now. "Wait, what?"
"I've done my research, Phoenix. While Mr. Gramarye may have granted you power of attorney via verbal contract, I'm afraid that's not quite enough to claim legal guardianship over Trucy." Edgeworth coughed and brushed away the dust that had began to collect on his own outfit. "If you are serious about adopting her, might as well make it official."
"I'm her father, Edgeworth." Phoenix answered, feeling a bit miffed that Edgeworth would do something like this without telling him beforehand. "Having an extra piece of paper saying so wouldn't change anything."
"It would in the eyes of the law," Edgeworth countered. "Even von Karma had to contend with Child Protective Services. I'm actually a little surprised they haven't come knocking on your door and made Trucy a ward of the State."
"I called in a few favors," Phoenix muttered, hoping Edgeworth wouldn't press the matter further.
Edgeworth's eyebrows went up, but he made no comment. "Look, if you really don't have anything to wear I can have one of my black suits altered to fit you."
Phoenix began to resign himself to the idea that Edgeworth was dead set on making this happen, but he wasn't going down without a fight. "You wear something other than pink?"
"Of course I do." Edgeworth wagged a finger at him. "And it's magenta."
Trucy knew that Papa was upset at somebody when he asked her in a very quiet voice to go to her room, but he wouldn't tell her who or why, only offering her a mumbled assurance that she was not the one in trouble as he looked through his cell phone's contact list. As soon as she obeyed him, she tiptoed back out again, pressing herself against the wall to listen to Papa, who was doing a very good job of sounding angry even as he whispered.
"What the hell, Edgeworth? Did you think I wouldn't find out that you're the one paying my bills behind my back?"
Trucy couldn't make out Mr. Edgeworth's reply, but from what she could hear he sounded a lot calmer than Papa.
"Don't try bringing Trucy into this one! We've done just fine without anybody's charity for seven years!"
Now Mr. Edgeworth raised his voice, too, and Papa began drumming his fingers along the table.
"That's not the point and you know it! I may not be a lawyer any more, but I still have my pride! You could have at least pretended to take my feelings into consideration!"
Mr. Edgeworth was almost shouting now, and Papa held the phone away from his ear as Mr. Edgeworth went on and on and on without any apparent need to breathe for a good minute.
"Edgeworth. Edgeworth!" Papa sighed and pressed his hand to his temples. "Miles. Listen to me. Please."
That got Mr. Edgeworth to stop talking.
"It's not that I don't appreciate it. I do, really. I just kind of wish you talked to me about this ahead of time."
A quiet laugh on the other side of the line.
Papa chuckled, too. "You bet I would. I need to save up for Trucy's college fund, you know."
More talking, and this time, Trucy could hear the word 'scholarship'.
"Don't worry, I plan to have Uncle Sam pay for every nickle. And depending on what Trucy decides to major in, I'm sure she'd qualify for quite a few grants and memorial funds." And now Papa was leaning over the couch where Trucy was hiding. "Wouldn't you, Trucy?"
Trucy felt her face grow hot. "I--I didn't hear anything! I just needed a glass of water!"
Papa tapped her on the nose. "Ah, ah, ah, Trucy. No lying, or I might ask Mr. Edgeworth to cross examine you for me."
"Listen to your father, Miss Wright," Mr. Edgeworth admonished from the phone. "He will testify that I am quite relentless in my quest for truth."
The suit was old and wrinkled and not the perfect shade of blue, but Phoenix had scrimped and saved and worked his fingers to the bone for it, because his Trucy was worth every penny and Miles (when did he start thinking of the man as Miles?), for once, agreed with him.
"They grow up so fast," Phoenix observed with mock melodrama, holding a hand to his chest.
"Oh, quiet, you." Miles gave him a small shove and peered into the camcorder, making sure he had the perfect angle lined up. "If you're going to go all bubbly about this, I shudder to think what you'll be like when your dear little Prinzessin decides to get married."
"The horror, the horror," Phoenix deadpanned, scanning the sea of square hats below them for Trucy.
"So, have you thought about being a lawyer again?" Miles asked over Phoenix's shoulder.
Ah, there she was, jumping up and down and waving at him while grinning so brightly that he wondered how he could have missed her the first time. "Have you?"
"I don't know. The speaking circuit pays pretty well, and Klavier seems to be handling the caseload just fine."
From Trucy's reaction, it looked like Miles not only waved as well, but also gave Phoenix rabbit ears. "That's not what I mean, and you know it."
Do you miss it? Was the unspoken question.
Miles glanced at Phoenix from the corner of his eye. Do you?
They didn't say anything again until after the ceremony ended.
Phoenix was the first to break the silence. "Hey, Miles. If I get reinstated--"
"When you get reinstated, Phoenix, I would be honored to face you from the other side of the courtroom."
Phoenix couldn't hold back the grin this time. "And here I was hoping you'd try being a full-time defense attorney."
For a moment, shades of Miles' court demeanor could be seen in his eyes. "That's about as likely as you becoming a prosecutor."
Edgeworth pushed through crowd of reporters as he searched for the familiar blue suit. He spotted Phoenix, with Trucy trailing after him, just as the cameras did and swooped in to shuffle all of them toward the parking lot.
Phoenix tried to twist around and see past Miles' arm. "Miles--what--"
"Shut up and keep walking. I'm saving you from the pirahanas."
Phoenix snickered. "My hero."
Miles tightened his grip. "Come on, keep up."
Trucy, for her part, seemed thrilled about this sudden change in itinerary. "Does this mean we get to ride in Papa Miles' car?"
'Papa Miles'? Miles mouthed to Phoenix.
Phoenix held out his hands in surrender. Better than 'Mama', right?
Trucy pouted. "Hey, you two! Stop talking about me behind my back!"
Edgeworth opened the door for Trucy, giving her a mock bow. "And what evidence do you have that we are, hm?"
She yanked on his cravat as soon as it was within reach. "I just know!"
Phoenix snickered as he entered from the other side of the vehicle. "Give it up, Miles. You're not going to win this one."
Miles muttered something in German under his breath as he started the car, earning an indignant 'I heard that!' from Trucy. "So how was your first day back?"
"Everybody except Payne was thrilled, naturally." Phoenix made sure Trucy was buckled in first. "I'm kind of surprised they didn't assign you or Klavier to this case."
"Prosecutor Gavin doesn't seem interested in cases where Attorney Justice isn't the defense attorney, and I think the District Attorney wants me to build a winning record before she sends me out to be crushed by you."
"Don't be so down on yourself, Miles. These days I can't be as picky about my clients."
"We'll see about that."
Apollo was, to say the least, rather startled when both Mr. Wright and Mr. Edgeworth burst into his office and slammed the door shut behind them, making signs at him to be quiet. They remained there, listening to the post-trial rush of spectators until the courtroom had once again fallen into blissful quiet.
Mr. Wright was the first to relax. "That was close. We sure dodged the bullet that time, huh?"
Mr. Edgeworth clicked his tongue. "Your unfortunate choice of words aside, yes." And he smirked, looking very pleased with himself. "And I believe in addition to an apology, you also owe me dinner."
"Me?" Mr. Wright looked indignant. "My client is still innocent!"
"Of the original charges, yes. But he plead down to a lesser one, didn't he?" And here Mr. Edgeworth did his infamous 'tsk tsk tsk' maneuver. "So technically, he is still guilty."
"Yeah, but the bet was on the original charges." Mr. Wright countered, and if there had been a desk between them Apollo was sure that Mr. Wright would have slammed it with both palms. "So you're the one who has to pay up, Prosecutor Edgeworth."
"Funny, I distinctly remember saying, and I quote: 'the man is guilty'. Period. I did not specify of what." Mr. Edgeworth held out his hand. "You are not bluffing your way out of this one, Attorney Wright."
"Objection!" Mr. Wright shouted, and Apollo jumped at the force of it. "The context of the discussion in question made it clear that we were discussing the original charges."
"HOLD IT!" Apollo yelled at the top of his lungs, surprising both men. "Can't you guys just split the bill or something?"
"No," they answered at the same time, before bursting out into choking laughter. Mr. Edgeworth pulled a twenty out of his wallet and slapped it into Mr. Wright's waiting palm.
"I've got to hand it to you, Phoenix," Mr. Edgeworth gasped out between guffaws, "only you would think of upping the ante like this."
"Was I right, or was I right?" Mr. Wright grinned. "But it was you calling Klavier's reaction that gave me the idea."
Apollo blinked, confused now. "Wait--you guys were just pretending to have an argument?"
Mr. Edgeworth removed his glasses to wipe his eyes. "Yes and no. We did make a little wager on the outcome of our first case facing each other in court, but when we couldn't agree on which one of us walked away the victor, Phoenix here suggested that I consult Prosecutor Gavin."
"But Miles was sure that Klavier would just tell us to share the tab, like you did," Mr. Wright filled in the rest while Mr. Edgeworth broke into another round of quiet chuckles. "He cheated me out of twenty bucks, the bastard."
Mr. Edgeworth gave Mr. Wright a playful shove on the arm. "Well, now we're even. And I guess we should take the advice of our younger associates here."
Mr. Wright smirked. "I don't know, Miles. After all, we haven't asked Trucy or Maya to put in their two cents yet."
This time, Mr. Edgeworth swatted Mr. Wright in the back of his head. "Do you want to have dinner with me or not?"
"Ow, okay! Geez!" Mr. Wright smoothed out his hair and straightened his suit. "And here you can see the violence inherent in the system," he added under his breath.
Mr. Edgeworth opened the door. "I heard that."
Mr. Wright fled out of it, a blur of bright blue. "Oh, snap!"
Miles barreled forward, Trucy and Maya shrieking with delight as they hung from his waist, and dunked the ball as he sailed past the lawn chair marking the end zone.
"Touchdown!" Pearl crowed, dancing on the tips of her toes and pumping her fists as she exchanged spirited high-fives with Miles.
Phoenix flopped down on the grass, panting with exhaustion. "I give up. None of us can outrun you, Miles."
Miles jogged over to the food basket and began setting out the spread. "You have Manfred von Karma to thank for that. He insisted that I be perfect not only in areas of intellect, but that I should strive for top physical condition as well."
Maya pressed an ice-cold drink can against Phoenix's neck, causing him to yelp and sit up again. "That's okay, Nick! A little waterfall training and you'll be able to keep up with Mr. Miles in no time!"
Phoenix chuckled. "I'm pretty sure waterfall training doesn't work that way, Maya."
Pearl flopped down next to Phoenix, munching on a slice of watermelon. "It's going to be so great, Mr. Nick! I'm going to turn eighteen soon, and then--"
"Shh!" Maya made frantic 'ixnay' gestures. "It's supposed to be a surprise!"
"What is?" Phoenix wanted to know.
Edgeworth smiled as he sipped from his teacup. "Oh, you'll find out."
"What, that you've been helping Maya study law up in Kurain, and she's going to apply for an internship with me as soon as Pearl turns eighteen?" It was Phoenix's turn to wag his finger at a surprised Miles, and he relished every moment of it. "Give me some credit, Miles. I'm good at uncovering secrets, remember?" He squeezed Pearl's shoulder, who looked disappointed now that the cat was out of the bag. "Don't worry, I'll still pretend to be surprised, just for you."
"It'll just be a little while longer, Mr. Nick!" Pearl reassured him. "I'll be a good Kurain Master for Maya, I promise! Then Maya can become a lawyer like Mystic Mia was and you can be with her forever!"
I'm doomed, Phoenix realized as the implications of the conversation caught up to him.
Miles peered at his new secretary Hannah Fright through his spectacles, quirking his eyebrow in amusement. "Is something the matter, Ms. Fright?"
Phoenix snickered at the hand-caught-in-the-cookie-jar expression on Hanna's face. "I think she's trying to walk in on us having hot, hot desk sex, Miles."
Miles clicked his tongue. "Kids these days and their obsession with the obscene. Can't two confirmed bachelors be good friends without the rumor mill churning about whether or not they are, as the common parlance goes, 'gay' for one another?"
"Oh, I think the world at large has already decided we're more flaming than two molotov cocktails; all that's left to debate is which one of us tops." Phoenix dropped the case files into Hanna's arms. "Thank you, Ms. Fright. Would you bring us the files for State v. Anderson, please?"
Hanna blushed to the roots of her hair and stammered an apology before scurrying out.
"Good riddance," Miles opined as he closed the door behind her.
"I don't blame her for being curious." Phoenix smirked. "We do act like an old married couple."
Miles matched his expression. "All that we are missing is--how did you put it? Ah, yes, the 'hot, hot desk sex'."
Phoenix had long since gotten used to Miles' teasing, but at this he still felt the tip of his ears grow warm. "Well, excuse me for being to busy to start dating again!"
Miles tsked at him. "Dating? What about poor, dear Pearl's efforts to play matchmaker for you and Maya?"
This time, Phoenix turned red. "Oh, come on! She's like a sister to me! That'd be like you and Franziska getting together!"
Miles pretended to ponder this. "Hm. Franziska is a very attractive woman, and quite spirited--"
"Trucy's writing a book about us." Phoenix remarked between bites of toast.
Miles just kept on reading the paper. "So she finally went through with her threats, hmm? Did she decided on a title yet?"
"I think 'The Girl Who Has Two Lawyers' is among the top ten."
"Is it my turn to walk Pess?" (Pess the Second, technically. Pess the First passed away quietly in her sleep a few years back. It was one of the few times Phoenix had seen Miles openly shed tears.)
Miles peered at Phoenix now. "Still keeping track of that after all this time?"
Phoenix crossed his arms. "You were the one making a big deal about how I was letting things slip my mind."
"I was kidding, Phoenix. I thought you knew me better."
"Oh, have the world's smallest violin, Miles."
"Remind me again why we moved in together?"
"To save on the rent?"
"That must be it. Can't imagine any other reason I could stand you." Except Miles was now grinning ear to ear.
Phoenix matched his expression. "Guess we're stuck with each other, huh?"
Unnecessarily Long and Tiresome Authoress' Notes:
I was resigned to never writing fanfiction again when I found the Phoenix Wright Kink Meme on teagueful. when I got sucked right back in. There's just something about everybody's favorite gay lawyers that are particularly inspiring for me.
A few notes for those of you who may be stumped:
- Hannah Fright is the "default" name for Edgeworth's secretary who always has the horrible luck of walking in on and/or eavesdropping when Edgeworth is trying to have sex with Phoenix, so I decided to turn that cliche on in its ear and make this Hannah eager to catch the boss misbehaving but being disillusioned.
- State v. Anderson is not a case in the PW canon but one I made up for the purposes of this 'fic, referencing an abortive PW story I never finished (and gave up on) about a tricky case where Edgeworth asks Phoenix to defend someone who looks obviously guilty but is hiding a secret only someone of Phoenix's caliber could discover. (I may or may not revive it should I become more familiar with the Phoenix Wright series.)
- As far as I know, Apollo/Klavier is not canon, but references to it kept sneaking in as I was writing. Maybe they're actually having hot, hot desksex while the Phoenix and Edgeworth of this tale are content with being BFFs, who knows?